Gretchen Rubin

“‘Home,’ By Contrast, Is the Place Where Least Has Happened.”

In the introduction to his book Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, Geoff Dyer writes,

For several years now I've been puzzled by some lines of Auden's--actually, I've been puzzled by many of Auden's lines, but the ones I have in mind are from "Detective Story" (1936), where he talks about

home, the centre where the three or four things

That happen to a man do happen

I think I have trouble getting my head round this idea of home because I can't refine down the number of things that have happened to me to 'three or four'--or not yet I can't anyway. Auden might turn out to be right, but for the moment, there are a lot of things that have happened, and they've happened in a lot of different places. "Home," by contrast, is the place where least has happened. For the last dozen or so years, in fact, the idea of "'home" has felt peripheral and, as a consequence, more than a little blurred. Or maybe, like Steinbeck, "I have homes everywhere," many of which "I have not seen yet. That is perhaps why I am restless. I haven't seen all my homes."

As someone who has spent so much time thinking about my own experience of home, I found this fascinating.

Do you feel like "home" is the place where the things that matter happen--or that those things happen elsewhere? For me, the things that do happen happen at home.

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